Six ways to SPICE UP your online lectures this Lent term

You mean an hour of Hobbes isn’t exciting enough?

On the face of it, sitting through an hour-long lecture doesn’t seem too much of a challenging task. Yet, less than 20 minutes in, as I start savouring each blink like a miniature mid-lecture nap, I accept that – once again – I’ve been defeated by that damned pillowy chair of mine.

I ask myself this: was I really ever going to stand a chance against the husky, academic tones of my lecturer and their army of polysyllabic words that I will never understand? Perhaps not. 

There’s just something about being serenaded poetry through my headphones that doesn’t quite have the same urgency as sitting in a freezing lecture hall surrounded by people to judge your sneaky tab switches on your laptop screen. 

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. It’s time to adapt, evolve and overcome the power of the pillowy desk chair. 

Here are the best ways to *spice* up your lectures: 

1. Simply don’t watch them

If this isn’t your thought process by the time you start watching your lectures, honestly wyd?

Hold your horses! Don’t worry, you don’t need to start an open letter complaining about The Tab promoting unserious working habits just yet! 

I mean to say, “Don’t watch them until you feel so panicked that you must watch them in order to get your next piece of work done so you watch four in a row with a desperate adrenaline rush and also the beginnings of a quarter-life crisis” but that didn’t quite fit in the subtitle. 

This method will take you on a serious emotional rollercoaster if that’s what you’re after.

2. Pretend you’re in a cinema

Popcorn? Dim lights? Bright Screen? Laptop bluetoothed to a speaker? 

Who needs Hitchcock when you’ve got Hobbes?

3. Create a reward-scheme for yourself.

Snack related, of course.

All HSPS friends, please look away instantly and don’t come for me and whatever pseudo-capitalist crime I’ve committed. 

H0nestly, the prospect of passing my degree will never quite provide the same motivation to watch lectures as the prospect of retail therapy.

4. Connect with nature

Still warmer than that lecture hall!

This time, we’re quite literally recreating those freezing cold lecture hall vibes by watching our lectures al fresco. 

This gave me a new purpose in life and that is not an understatement. What’s next for me? Maybe whale-watching, maybe growing my own wheat to make my own bread.

5. Make a drinking game.

I’m not entirely promoting drinking alone in your room, but I am promoting making fun games. That could potentially involve drinking. I promise to reserve judgment, although would recommend proceeding with caution and maybe saving this one until after your supervision. 

6. Be really overdressed for no reason

An expert opinion if I ever saw one

At this point in lockdown, my student loan has sponsored a new wardrobe due to our aforementioned reward scheme. 

Sometimes at night, I think about how said wardrobe will not be making its King’s Parade debut for the foreseeable future and it troubles me greatly. 

At the end of the day, I must stress that keeping lectures and everything going when we feel like there are bigger problems in the world can be really difficult, so be kind and forgiving to yourself. 

Be kind to your lecturers too – seeing their little faces on my screen every morning does give me purpose. Now that’s some really wholesome content. 

All images are the author’s own.

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